Month: October 2014

Inyo National Forest: Meysan Lake

Hike: Meysan Lake
Where: Inyo National Forest
Trailhead: Whitney Portal
Level: Strenuous
Duration: 7 hours
Length: 11.2 miles out and back
Gear: [sn] Super.Natural W Base Tee 140, REI Sahara pants, Arc’teryx Alpha SL Hybrid jacket, CamelBak Aventura, Black Diamond Ultra Distance trekking poles, Arc’teryx Covert Hoody, and Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX boots
Cost of Parking: Free

Fresh from sea level and running on about 6.5 hours of sleep, the beastly David Wherry and I set off with a friend on a Friday morning to acclimatize for our Whitney hike back in September. Our destination was Meysan Lake at approximately 11,500′. The trail begins at the Whitney Portal Family Campground by the summer homes, a short walk across Lone Pine Creek from our campsite. Starting elevation is 8360′, so if you’re not used to the altitude, expect to be huffing and puffing.

Read More

Arc’teryx Covert Hoody

Arc'teryx Covert Hoody Review Arc'teryx Covert Hoody Review Arc'teryx Covert Hoody Review Arc'teryx Covert Hoody Review

Autumn is upon us! Leaves are changing & falling, the streets are littered with discarded Starbucks pumpkin spice latte cups, and it’s time to break out those sweaters! Except for one problem, I don’t really own any sweaters. The Arc’teryx Covert Hoody will have to do, right?

Read More

Portola Redwoods SP: Tiptoe Falls

Hike: Tiptoe Falls, Iverson Cabin Site, Old Tree
Where: Portola Redwoods State Park
Level: Moderate
Duration: 3 hours
Length: 5 miles?
Gear: Icebreaker Tech T Lite, Aether Apparel Elite Leggings, Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie, Boreas Gear Topaz 25, and Ahnu Sugarpine Waterpoof Boots
Cost of Parking: $10

On Saturday morning, I set off to do a bit of solo hiking in Portola Redwoods State Park. I had a few hours to kill and wanted something a little more remote and quiet than the open space preserves in the area. This park is one of the hidden gems in the Bay Area, tucked away off of Skyline Blvd in La Honda, CA.

I decided to check out Tiptoe Falls in this severe drought to see if it still even existed. There are currently campground closures throughout the park and no running water throughout the park. My first stop would be Tiptoe Falls, approximately .5 miles away from the parking lot. The trail descended to Pescadero Creek, which had such low flow volume it appeared stagnant.

Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls

The trail then meandered into a grove of redwoods before crossing over Fall Creek to head to Tiptoe Falls. Fall Creek was bone dry with occasional little puddles. And then I encountered Tiptoe Falls, a 6′ tall wet rock. Calling the falls a trickle would be an insult. It is practically a seasonal fall at this point.

Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls

I then headed up the Iverson Trail to the Iverson cabin to climb up the Summit Trail. I encountered this little guy. Happy to see he’s still out and about, even with this ridiculously dry weather.

Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls

From Summit Trail, I turned left on Slate Creek Trail to head down to the Old Tree and back to the parking lot. It was a beautiful, and warm fall day. I only saw one other person on the trail, and there were no more than three cars parked at the trailhead.

If you’re looking for an escape from Bay Area crowds, this place is it.

Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls

AXP #HellHikeAndRaft Survival Kit

AXP #HellHikeAndRaft Kit Review AXP #HellHikeAndRaft Kit Review

When AXP signed on to sponsor #HellHikeAndRaft, I was extremely curious to see what we’d be receiving. I have an Adventure Medical Kit first aid kit, and hoped it wouldn’t be the exact same thing.

When Adam handed out the goods at our motel in Idaho, it was a pleasant surprise. These were actual, thoughtfully crafted survival kits!

Each kit came with

  • Mylar emergency blanket
  • lighter
  • NDUR Utility Flame
  • Micro StarFlash Mirror
  • Micro JetScream Whistle
  • minor first aid supplies (not pictured)

I consolidated the first aid supplies into my current kit to maintain organization. The rest I left in the mesh pouch that they came in. My AXP #HellHikeAndRaft survival kit wasn’t terribly useful on the trip, but I am very excited to have it post-trip. It’s a great thing to toss into my pack for days in the mountain as a worst case scenario type of thing, especially now with unpredictable weather. For hikes closer to home, I leave it behind to drop weight and save space.

The only thing I would change about the kit is packaging. The mesh case is nice, but I would really prefer a waterproof bag like the one my Adventure Medical Kit comes in.

The closest offering AXP has to the #HellHikeAndRaft kit is their Wilderness Survival Mini Kit, available for $36 on their website.

Mokelumne Wilderness: Round Top Peak via West Ridge

Hike: Round Top Peak via West Ridge
Where: Mokelumne Wilderness
Trailhead: Woods Lake
Level: Moderate
Duration: 5 hours
Length: 7.5 miles
Gear: [sn] Super.Naural W Base 140 Tee, REI Sahara pants, Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie, Boreas Gear Topaz 25, and Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX boots
Cost of Parking: $5

Round Top Peak has been one of those elusive peaks on my Tahoe to-do list. Every time I’ve tried to attempt it, something hasn’t quite worked out: someone’s sick, couldn’t make it to Tahoe. This weekend, Russ and I set off to do it! It was going to my first, his fifth.

We headed out from the Bay Area early in the morning and got to the Woods Lake trailhead at around 11am. The skies were clear and blue; weather was in the 70s. It was an easy 2.5 miles in to Winnemucca Lake where we would split from the trail and head up the use trail to Round Top’s West summit. The trail until the last 500ft or so was well worn. Once we got into loose scree territory, it was a little difficult to follow, resulting in a choose your own adventure. Russ opted to stay here, and I continued on to check out the East summit, aka the true summit.

I traversed across the narrow ridge to the drop before climbing up to the summit. From what I’d read online, the East summit is a class 3 scramble with tons of scree and loose holds that were prone to snapping off. It looked so incredibly unappealing. I decided that I didn’t want to die that day and headed back to join my climbing partner.

We then made our way down the way we came up and went out by Round Top Lake and back to the Woods Lake trailhead.

Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak Mokelumne Wilderness: Roundtop Peak